JMU roundup: Dukes fall to Wright State on a buzzer-beater

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

ESTERO, Fla. – James Madison women’s basketball fell 79-77 in a heartbreaker to Wright State as the Raiders’ KC Elkins scored a 3-point shot at the buzzer for the win. The Dukes finished in fourth place at the Gulf Coast Showcase, held at Germain Arena in Estero, Fla.

The Dukes took the lead on a jumper by senior Kirby Burkholder with 26.3 seconds remaining in the game. On the ensuing Raiders possession, they put the ball in Kim Demmings hands, who accounted for 28 points on the day. After finding the lane blocked by purple, she kicked the ball out to Elkins who released the ball just before the final horn and posted her only made 3-pointer on the day.

JMU is now 5-2 on the season, and Wright State is 6-2 on the year.

Burkholder led five double-figure Dukes with 28 points and 10 rebounds, her fourth double-double of the season. Senior Nikki Newman dropped in 12 points with two blocks, while junior Toia Giggetts notched 11 points with five rebounds and two blocks.

Redshirt junior Lauren Okafor posted her first double-digit game in a JMU uniform with 10 points, and sophomore Precious Hall also tallied 10 points on the day.

Wright State made 34 trips to the free-throw line, making 28 of their 34 attempts at the line while the Dukes visited the charity stripe just 11 times, sinking seven of them. Overall, JMU shot 52.4 percent from the floor, including 36.4 percent from 3-point range. Wright State shot 41.4 percent from the floor and 20.0 percent from beyond the arc.

Wright State was led by Demmings with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Tay’ler Mingo accounted for 26 points on the day for the Raiders.

JMU scored 50 points in the paint compared to Wright State’s 30. The Raiders, however, won the turnover game as they converted 25 JMU turnovers into 27 points. The Dukes converted 15 Wright State turnovers into 18 points.

While the Dukes won the rebound battle 38-33, the Raiders held the advantage in second-chance points 11-6.

JMU has a quick turnaround as the Dukes travel to Pittsburgh for a Wednesday night game at 7 p.m.

Men’s basketball
RICHMOND – Cedrick Lindsay led Richmond’s balanced scoring effort with 14 points and nine assists to carry the Spiders past James Madison 68-53 in a non-conference men’s basketball game on Saturday evening at the Robins Center.

JMU fell to 2-6 with its fourth straight loss as UR improved to 6-2 after posting its third straight victory.

Richmond grabbed momentum early in both halves to stave off any chance for the Dukes to build any momentum. The Spiders used a 9-0 run to take an 11-2 lead off the opening tip and added a 10-2 spurt to make it 21-9.

Then after a 10-point margin at the half, Richmond used a 7-0 spurt to take a 42-25 lead two minutes into the second half with JMU unable to break the 10-point barrier the rest of the way.

Lindsay was Richmond’s lead scorer with 14 points and nine assists, the most assists by a JMU opponent since he had 11 against the Dukes in Harrisonburg last Dec. 8. ShawnDre’ Jones had 13 points while Terry Allen, Alonz Nelson-Ododa and Derrick Williams each contributed 10 points with Williams adding nine rebounds and three blocks.

Sophomore guard Charles Cooke led the Dukes and posted his first career 20-point game. Sophomore guard Ron Curry added 16 points while sophomore forward Taylor Bessick put up eight of his own and nine rebounds. Freshman forward Tom Vodanovich led the team with a season-high 10 rebounds.

While JMU enjoyed a 42-32 advantage on the glass and scored 30 of its 42 points in the paint, Richmond was able to take advantage of outside shooting and forced turnovers to earn the victories.

The Spiders shot 43 percent overall and 38 percent (8-for-21) from the arc. At the same time, Richmond limited JMU to 31 percent from the field and an 0-for-16 showing from outside to drop JMU’s season three-point shooting to 21.6 percent.

It was the first time since a 60-52 win over Drexel on Jan. 26, 2011 that the Dukes could not convert a three-point attempt in the game. It was also just the third time since the late 1980s that the Dukes did not make a three with at least 10 attempts (0-for-15 at Richmond 1/27/1997 and 0-for-10 at Charlotte 2/3/1996).

After Richmond’s 7-0 charge to open the second half, the Dukes had one final chance to crawl back, holding the Spiders off the scoreboard for over five minutes. However, Madison scored just six points of its own over that stretch to cut it to 42-31 with 13 minutes to go.

After a pair of free throws by Curry at the 17:25 mark to make it 42-27, both teams went scoreless for three minutes total until JMU continued the brief 6-0 push. That missed opportunity proved pivotal as UR quickly build the margin back to 16 points by the 11:42 mark and coasted to a lead of as large as 22 before the 15-point win.

In their previous three games, the Dukes had grabbed early leads only to see them vanish. This time it was Richmond grabbing the early momentum to claim an 11-2 advantage less than five minutes into the game. The Spiders used three blocks of JMU layups in the opening minutes to help take charge. Following a make of their first basket, the Dukes missed their next eight in a row to dig the early hole.

Madison turned the tide with a few caused turnovers to halt the 9-0 run and cut it to 11-7 but UR had another push, this time a 10-2 run to make it 21-9. Richmond maintained that margin most of the half, taking a 35-25 lead to the locker room

JMU will take a brief midweek pause from its eight-game road swing before heading to Nacogdoches, Texas on Thursday for Friday and Saturday games against Sam Houston State and host Stephen F. Austin.